Quote of Note #138: Hope and Help in Christ

photo by GAC "In [Christ] the enslaved find redemption, the guilty pardon, the unholy renovation; in him are everlasting strength for the weak, unsearchable riches for the needy, treasures of wisdom and knowledge for the ignorant, fullness for the empty." Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Carlisle, PA: … Continue reading Quote of Note #138: Hope and Help in Christ

Quote of Note #135: The Redemptive Impulse of Jesus

Teasel against a Gray Sky; photo by GAC "And if the actions of Jesus are reflective of who he most deeply is, we cannot avoid the conclusion that it is the very fallenness which he came to undo that is most irresistibly attractive to him. "This is deeper than saying Jesus is loving or merciful … Continue reading Quote of Note #135: The Redemptive Impulse of Jesus

Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking

There is no question that our Christian faith can become corrupted.  And, of course, one of the ways that our faith can become corrupted is when we adopt bad or wrong doctrines.  That’s why it’s important for us to learn our theology carefully and well. The base of an abandoned steel-making blast furnace; photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking

Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life

[Note: The text below is the script for a video/audio teaching I posted to my Facebook page and my YouTube channel.  If you’d like to see the video version, follow the instructions in the material below.] How can human beings live flourishing and authentic lives in this complicated and troubled world?  That’s the question that … Continue reading Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life

Quote of Note #124: Mercy and Grace for Us

Stained glass from North Presbyterian Church, Elmira, NY; photo by GAC "[Christ] does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That's the whole point. It's what he came to heal. He went down into the horror of death and plunged … Continue reading Quote of Note #124: Mercy and Grace for Us

Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22

Here God proclaims his love.  God proclaims the bias of his heart.  God proclaims the direction of movement of his heart. photo by GAC Above all, he is for the weak.  Above all, he is for the vulnerable, the wounded, the broken, the lost.  (Does this sound familiar?  “For the Son of Man came to … Continue reading Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22

Quote of Note #119: The Grace and Hope of Prayer

photo by GAC "Our hope depends not on the right technique or the proper phrase or gesture, which borders on magic, but on the promise of God to look with favor on those who throw themselves on his mercy and who acknowledge the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, for their … Continue reading Quote of Note #119: The Grace and Hope of Prayer

Quote of Note #116: Running to God with our Darkest Miseries

Flagstaff, AZ; photo by GAC "[God] isn't like you. Even the most intense of human love is but the faintest echo of heaven's cascading abundance. His heartful thoughts of you outstrip what you can conceive. He intends to restore you into the radiant resplendence for which you were created. And that is dependent not on … Continue reading Quote of Note #116: Running to God with our Darkest Miseries

Quote of Note #115: God, Who Is Rich in Mercy

The Spokane River in downtown Spokane, WA; photo by GAC "Perhaps you have difficulty receiving the rich mercy of God in Christ not because of what others have done to you but because of what you've done to torpedo your life, maybe through one, big, stupid decision or maybe through ten thousand little ones. You … Continue reading Quote of Note #115: God, Who Is Rich in Mercy

Quote of Note #114: “The Friend of Sinners”

Photo by GAC "Time and again it is the morally disgusting, the socially reviled, the inexcusable and undeserving, who do not simply receive Christ but to whom Christ most naturally gravitates. He is, by his enemies' testimony, the 'friend of sinners.' (Luke 7:34)." Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and … Continue reading Quote of Note #114: “The Friend of Sinners”